Cole Sprouse reveals why he thinks his character basically disappeared from 'Friends'
You might recognize him from the Disney Channel show The Suite Life of Zack And Cody, or possibly from his starring role as Jughead Jones in Netflix's Riverdale, but Cole Sprouse is perhaps most widely recognized for starring in the 90's phenomenon that was Friends.
Cole appeared on the NBC series as Ross's son, Ben, whom he shared with his ex-wife Carol. Though you may recognize him from Friends, you might be shocked to find out that Cole actually only starred in 7 episodes of the hit show - a fact that didn't go unnoticed by fans.
"What happened to Ben?" has been a longstanding question within the Friends fanbase, with the character literally disappearing and never being seen again. Ben was unexplainably missing from huge events, such as his aunt Monica's wedding and the birth of his sister, Emma. Some fans theorized that Ben's mother, Carol, and her new wife Susan, may have gotten sole custody of him due to Ross's lack of parenting skills.
Whilst participating in GQ's "It's Actually Me" series, in which celebrities create accounts for social media and answer fan questions directly, Cole was asked about how he felt about "being killed off of Friends."
Without skipping a beat, Cole answered: "Critics would agree that Ross was never really the most present father, and so it doesn't surprise me too much."
It seems as though Cole may agree with the fan theories, and that Ben was taken away by his mothers. Jane Sibbett and Jessica Hecht, who played Carol and Susan, also revealed what they believe happened to Ben recently during an interview with Comedy Central. They said that Ben moved to England, and began attending a British boarding school after Carol and Susan sent him to get him out of the United States. They said that they think Carol and Susan also eventually move to England, adopt more children and home school all of their kids.
Cole, who starred with his twin brother Dylan in The Suite Life, almost always shared his roles with his brother before Friends, with the pair being hired to play the same character. This is a common practice within the film and television industry when hiring child actors - because kids are obviously not allowed to work the same hours as adult actors, the company will hire twins to play the same role so they can switch throughout the day. However, only Cole was hired to play Ben. He explained: "Honestly, our appearance as the same character was sort of dependent on how much screen time we had. In Friends, for example, my role was not too present. They only really needed to hire one twin, because both of us were incredibly expensive."
So there you have it. The show might not have told us what happened to Ben, but Cole and his TV parents have, and that's good enough for me.